Eagles training camp 2021: Jalen Reagor needs success in 1-on-1s to translate

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Reagor needs success in 1-on-1 drills to translate into games originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Jalen Reagor makes it sound like he’s talking about a routine play.

The Eagles’ second-year receiver was asked on Wednesday about his spectacular one-handed catch against the Patriots in 1-on-1 drills last week and he gave a pretty basic explanation for how it went down.

“It’s like one of them things, you know when you go in the backyard and you catch the ball one-handed?” Reagor said. “Well, it’s kind of instinctual. He had my left arm and the only way I could catch it is with my right.”

Ho hum.

Just rise above the defender and grab the ball with your right hand, spin your body and get both feet in bounds. It sounds pretty easy, right? Not so much.

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Even before that practice, head coach Nick Sirianni called Reagor’s ability in those 1-on-1s “special” and it’s easy to see why. In fact, the catch against the Patriots was the second time he made basically the same play in training camp. Sure, those 1-on-1 drills are slanted toward the receiver, but Reagor wins them pretty consistently.

So we’ve established that’s what Reagor can do in the backyard.

Now, he just needs to do it in NFL stadiums … when it counts.

“What the 1-on-1 are there to do is really perfect your technique and fundamentals and see if the talent that you have and the fundamentals that you learned is going to win your 1-on-1 matchups,” Sirianni said. “That's what this league is about, the 1-on-1 matchups that you have to win.

“So, those are great experiences for him, and he's doing a really good job winning those 1-on-1 battles there, and now it’s just, hey, can you sustain that play to play to play?”

During those 1-on-1 drills, there’s plenty of time for the receiver to get geared up for one rep, run it and then take a break. Sirianni’s point was that the repeated snaps in game settings, which are duplicated in practices, hinge on conditioning.

“That's what practice is for, right?” Sirianni said. “That's why we're going six, seven plays in a row, to simulate the drive. So, it's a combination of the one-on-ones and then the practice reps they do.”

Reagor, 22, had a disappointing rookie season in 2020. He dealt with several injuries and ended up playing in just 11 games. He had 31 catches for 396 yards and 1 touchdown. Hardly the numbers you’d expect for a first-round pick.

After the death of a childhood friend and a failed conditioning test to start training camp, Reagor has rebounded to have a pretty good summer.

Perhaps some of the pressure will be off Reagor in Year 2. The Eagles used the No. 10 overall pick to draft Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith and the emergence of Quez Watkins this summer has given them another legitimate starting receiver.

But getting more out of Reagor in Year 2 would be a big boost for Sirianni, Jalen Hurts and the entire Eagles’ offense.

If nothing else, these 1-on-1s show glimpses of the talent we know Reagor has. Now, he just needs to take that talent and turn it into production on the field.

If you’re wondering, Reagor thinks that’s going to come pretty naturally. Of course he does.

“It’s the same thing,” Reagor said. “It’s just like if I go against him in the game. It’s the same thing. It really depends on timing and me getting off the ball and running the route."

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